while the drop is welcome news, it's way too early to declare victory. here's abc's david muir. >> reporter: it's a welcome trend in the fight against the h1n1 flu. for the third week in a row, now, the cdc says, the number of cases, visits to the doctor, have gone down. but federal authorities stopped short of saying this flu has peaked. >> i wish i knew if we had hit the peak. nothing is typical about this year's influenza. we may have weeks and months of a lot of disease ahead of us. >> reporter: even so, a growing number of doctors tell abc news, the difference in their hospitals and offices is noticeable. in maryland, the state health director said the trend is clear. >> it appears as if we have reached a peak in this outbreak. clearly, it is at levels now, lower than it was two or three weeks ago. >> reporter: in ft. worth, texas, where officials once sent 80,000 students home when fears of this flu first began, the absentee rate, they told us, is back to normal. october 22nd, 301 schools closed down.